Fraud Prevention

Financial scams are becoming more and more sophisticated and more often than not, victims hand over their money to the scammers of their own will – no hacking or violence involved. Paysera, a leader in the Baltics and an international fintech for everyday finance management, is constantly educating its clients on how not to become a victim of fraud.
Sukčiavimo prevencija

Types of fraud

We present the most common types of fraud and how to recognise them and protect yourself.

What do the victims say?
"The investment website seemed very reliable and the manager on the phone promised high returns."

How does it work?

  1. Quick and unrealistic profits are promised: investment consultants claim that there is no risk in investing, profits are guaranteed, and your contribution will be minimal.
  2. Aggressive advertising using false success stories of famous people or well-known brands, or institutional names.
  3. Companies offering investments are often registered in exotic jurisdictions (Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Seychelles) and cannot provide investment services in Lithuania. IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHECK!
  4. Intense and persuasive pressure from consultants to increase the investment amount.
  5. Fraudsters promise you that in case of a failure, you can recover your lost money using the Mastercard (Visa Chargeback) insurance service, or they offer their assistance for a fee to help you recover it.

How to recognise investment fraudsters?

  1. Do your homework: check whether the company is licensed to provide investment services, contact the central bank to check whether the company is operating legally, and check whether the company has received an inadequate number of complaints.
  2. Be critical of promises made by representatives of investment platforms who contact you by phone or video call, especially if you have never seen these people in person.
  3. Be particularly critical of promises of guaranteed returns or high earnings.
  4. Be sure to enquire about all investment conditions.

More information on investment fraud

What do the victims say?
"Someone used my card in London, even though I have it with me."

How does it work?
Fraudsters don't necessarily need to steal your card to get your card details.

You can be at risk of losing your card number, expiry date, and CVV code when you pay at unreliable e-shops whose primary purpose is to collect customer login details. In some cases, those who obtain the card details do not act immediately. It can take six months or even a year before you realise that someone is using the card you have in your wallet to make payments in another country.

Another previously popular way for fraudsters to make a copy of your card is known as skimming, which involves scanning your payment card details with a remote reader installed by criminals in an ATM or POS terminal.

How to protect your card data from fraudsters?

  • Before inserting your card into an ATM, check that the ATM is not damaged or looking unusual.
  • If the buttons on the ATM keypad are hard to press, this could be a sign that a fake keypad may have been placed on top of the actual keypad.
  • Try to use ATMs that are in highly visible, public places.
  • When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand.
  • To be safe, keep your money in a separate current account and top up your card from time to time before making purchases.
  • If you have entered your card details on a suspicious website or disclosed your details to others, please notify your financial institution immediately.

What do the victims say?
"I received a text message from my bank saying something is happening on my account and I need to log in urgently."

How does it work?
Recently, a new, but until now rarely used, type of fraud has become more popular among online fraudsters. Scammers send SMS messages and thanks to modern technology they can use any name they want. So if you have previously received an SMS message from your bank (let's say its name is 'Bank Ltd') and the scammer generates an identical name ('Bank Ltd'), the scammer's message will go to the same message thread on your smartphone as the one that your actual bank once sent you.

One of the more recent cases of smishing involves sending messages to users on behalf of postal companies about a payment received by a postal company for a sale of a product that the supposed buyer wants to purchase. In order for the funds to be credited to the user's account, the user is asked to click on a link in the SMS message and enter the user's personal and payment card details on a fake postal company website.


How to recognise it?

  • Your financial partner will almost never send you SMS messages and emails with links to log in to your electronic banking accounts. Ignore such messages and report them to your financial institution.
  • If you receive an unusual message, do not enter your data or click on the provided link. Instead, open the website or internet banking directly in your browser using the address you have used before.
  • Do not approve payments that you didn't initiate yourself.
  • Upon receiving a suspicious message, always think about whether you expected a message of this nature, i.e., whether you actually sold an item for which you are being asked to accept payment, or whether you actually ordered a shipment to be delivered to the parcel locker mentioned in the message.

What do the victims say?
"I received an email from my bank saying something is happening on my account and I need to log in urgently. The website looked legit."

How does it work?
In most cases, a website is created that looks like a bank or other trusted institution. The fraudster then sends out numerous emails claiming to be from the bank or other trusted institution. Recipients are asked to enter their personal bank details (such as PIN code and username) on the website and perform the action specified in the email. After taking control of the personal data, the fraudster attempts to access the victim's bank account.

How to recognise it?

  • Check the sender's email address (you may notice slight differences compared to the real address)
  • Hover your mouse cursor over the links sent (the full URL will be displayed) and see where you may be redirected.
  • Remember, you cannot win a lottery you did not participate in, or receive an inheritance from a deceased relative you did not have.

What do the victims say?
"An investment consultant called me and urged me to invest as soon as possible, saying now it is the best time."

How does it work?
Nowadays, the number of fraud cases and fraudulent calls is increasing. Any phone call where the caller asks for your bank card details or access to your bank account is suspicious. Often, such callers introduce themselves as bank employees, investment consultants, or security department employees and sell non-existent products or manipulate emotions. They claim to be calling about a problem related to the client and immediately offer a solution, but the client must take some action or confirm their identity. Fraudsters try to deceive with smooth arguments and explanations. They can be friendly and polite, and if necessary, very persistent in demanding that the person provide them with access to their bank account by any means.

How to recognise fraudulent calls?

  • Your financial partner or public authorities (e.g. the FCIS) will never call you and ask you to provide your electronic banking login details during the call. Simply hang up.
  • Remember, financial institution employees will never call their clients and ask them to log in to their internet banking, or ask for account or payment card details (card number and CVV code on the other side of the card). You can only be identified in a telephone conversation if you yourself have called the number on the financial institution's website. However, in such case, the client is identified using identity verification means (Smart-ID, PIN code generators, mobile signature, etc.), and financial institution employees never ask the client to dictate any login details for a payment instrument.
  • In many cases, when fraudsters call, they do not speak Lithuanian and try to explain why they do not speak the language.

What do the victims say?
"I found an advert on the internet, made an advance payment, and didn't receive the item."

How does it work?
Second-hand clothes, pots, handbags, strollers, lawnmowers, and pedigree pets – everything that is sold on classifieds portals can turn out to be scam-bait for the buyers, who, after transferring the money to the fraudsters, end up with no money and no purchase.

The fraudster posts an online advert for a pram, for example. Once they have received the payment, the criminal often tries to buy time and continues to communicate by sending pictures or other fake proof that they have supposedly sent the parcel. When the buyer does not receive the item and contacts law enforcement or the financial institution, a week or two later, the scammer has already been long gone, the ad has been deleted, the phone has been switched off, and the money is gone, either withdrawn from the account or transferred to a foreign bank.

Fraudsters also pretend to be legitimate sellers by using a fake website. Fake retail websites are created that appear to be real at first glance. Often, they use website designs copied from real stores, similar logos, and domain names.

Fake websites may offer to buy expensive items such as branded clothing, jewellery, etc., at significantly lower prices. In most cases, after purchasing an item, you will either receive nothing or receive an item that is only a cheap copy of the original.

How to avoid fraudsters online?

  • Check other buyers' reviews of the seller.
  • If the seller's name, phone number, or account number is listed in the advert, try to find more information about the person. View the seller's social media profile.
  • Ask the seller for more information, and check regarding returns and warranty. Be critical of sellers who refuse to give you this information.
  • Don't judge a seller by their website alone, a visually appealing website can be created in no time. Pay attention if the store is brand new and selling products at very low prices.
  • Be careful when dealing with people/companies from abroad.
  • Check if the online store has appropriate information about privacy, terms of use, dispute resolution, and contact details.
  • Review the available payment methods for products. In many cases, fraudulent sellers only accept a few lesser-known payment methods.

What do the victims say?
"I met a man online. We chatted online for a while. He asked me for money for a trip to come and visit me, and when I made the transfer, he disappeared."

How does it work?
Romantic scams exist not only in the movies. Single and lonely people are the easiest target, and lately, there has been an increase in the number of elderly women who have been tricked by romantic scammers.

A typical situation. You're looking for a partner and along comes a handsome, polite, easy-going man, usually from another country. You chat, you talk on the phone, and everything seems pretty normal. Until one-day disaster strikes and the new friend asks for an urgent loan, which he promises to pay back promptly. Emotionally, these are probably the most painful crimes because the victims end up losing not only the money but also the person they thought was their friend or loved one.

There are many cases when victims do not want to believe it, feel ashamed, and do not want to admit that they have fallen victim to a romantic scam. Sometimes the employees of financial institutions have to persuade customers to stop transferring money to someone they have never seen in person.

How to avoid romance scammers?

  • If you've met someone online, make sure you check their profile and photos thoroughly in an online search (don’t forget that you can also reverse search photos).
  • Be critical of the high number of likes on your new acquaintance's photos. These likes could have been added by the same person using fake profiles or bots.
  • Do not share excessive personal information online.
  • Don't send money to strangers you haven't met in person.
  • Tell your family about your new acquaintance and ask them for an 'outside opinion' if you are asked to transfer money.
  • Don't believe in love at first sight online.

If you are or suspect you have become a victim of fraud:

  • Change your account password.
  • Check your account statements and ensure the information is correct.
  • Contact your payment service provider immediately ([email protected] / +370 52 071 558).
  • Inform the Lithuanian Police.
  • If it is an investment scam, inform the Bank of Lithuania (more information).

For more information on fraudsters' tactics and tips on how to protect yourself, please read our blog posts


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